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Can I Rent an Apartment Post Bankruptcy?

Can I Rent an Apartment Post Bankruptcy?

Q & A with Dottie Herman

Question: How difficult will it be for me to find an apartment if I had to declare bankruptcy last year?

Answer: The process can potentially be problematic for a renter who has filed a bankruptcy petition; however if you need to find properties where the landlords will be understanding. In this said, the potential renter should be prepared with a few items:

  1. A reference letter from their current landlord representing they are good tenants;
  2. A creditworthy guarantor to co-sign in the event they default on their rent payments; and
  3. Additional security or pre-paid rent.
Question: I'm looking to sell my home. Should I spend money on landscaping to increase curb appeal? Or invest the money elsewhere?

Answer: You only get to make a first impression once and landscaping can be an important factor when prospective buyers arrive at your home. A manicured lawn and some colorful flowers can go a long way. Depending on the condition of your Kitchen and Baths, some updating may be something to consider. Check the comparable in your neighborhood currently on the market, and assess how your home measures up.

Question:  What does contract signed mean? How does that differ from a closed sale?

Answer: The document that confirms the terms and conditions of a property purchase is the Contract of Sale, which is customarily drawn up by the Seller's Attorney and is signed by both the Buyer and the Seller. A Closed Sale is the status of the property after consideration has been paid and the transfer of title, including the deed, or coop shares, as the case may be, has been made.

Question: I am looking to buy an apartment in the city. From my searches it seems as though condos sell for more money than coops, is that true?

Answer: Your research is, for the most part, correct.  Although the preponderance of ownership in New York City is cooperative, condominiums generally fetch higher prices because of their inherent flexibility of ownership. They are generally investor friendly, and leasing rules are usually less stringent. These features tend to contribute to a higher selling price.
Question: Do basements add value to my home? My home doesn't have a basement or garage, and we are putting it on the market, and the other homes on my block have better storage, so I assume I need to compensate in price for this issue.

Answer: Basements are an attractive feature as they can be used to house mechanicals, expand entertainment space, as well as for additional storage. In addition, homes with basements may have additional architectural elements that address drainage, etc. It might be helpful to research homes comparable to yours that have basements vs those that don't, to ascertain how this feature might affect pricing.

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